Characterization of mule deerpox virus in Florida white-tailed deer fawns expands the known host and geographic range of this emerging pathogen
Infections caused by mule deerpox virus (MDPV) have been sporadically reported in North American cervids. White-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) fawns from a farm located in South Central Florida presented with ulcerative and crusting lesions on the coronary band as well as the mucocutaneous tissues of the head. Evaluation of the crusted skin lesions was undertaken using microscopic pathology and molecular techniques. A crusted skin sample was processed for virus isolation in four mammalian cell lines. The resulting isolate was characterized by negative staining electron microscopy and deep sequencing. Histopathologic evaluation of the skin lesions from the fawns revealed a hyperplastic and proliferative epidermis with ballooning degeneration of epidermal and follicular keratinocytes with intracytoplasmic eosinophilic inclusions. Electron microscopy of cell culture supernatant demonstrated numerous large brick-shaped particles typical of most poxviruses. Polymerase chain reaction assays followed by Sanger sequencing revealed a poxvirus gene sequence nearly identical to that of previous strains of MDPV. The full genome was recovered by deep sequencing and genetic analyses supported the Florida white-tailed deer isolate (MDPV-F) as a strain of MDPV. Herein, we report the first genome sequence of MDPV from a farmed white-tailed deer fawn in the South Central Florida, expanding the number of locations and geographic range in which MDPV has been identified.
Compliance with ethical standards
This study was funded by the University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Science Cervidae Health Research Initiative, with funds provided by the State of Florida legislature.
Conflict of interest
All the authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
All animal procedures were reviewed and approved by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee at University of Florida (IACUC Protocol #: 201609390).
- 1.Skinner MA, Buller RM, Damon IK, Lefkowitz EJ, McFadden G, McInnes CJ, Mercer AA, Moyer RW, Upton C (2012) Poxviridae. In: King AMQ, Adams MJ, Carstens EB, Lefkowitz EJ (eds) Virus taxonomy: ninth report of the International Committee on taxonomy of viruses. Elsevier Academic Press, New York, pp 291–309Google Scholar
- 3.Adams MJ, Lefkowitz EJ, King AMQ, Harrach B, Harrison RL, Knowles NJ, Kropinski AM, Krupovic M, Kuhn JH, Mushegian AR, Nibert M, Sabanadzovic S, Sanfaçon H, Siddell SG, Simmonds P, Varsani A, Zerbini FM, Gorbalenya AE, Davison AJ (2017) Changes to taxonomy and the International Code of Virus Classification and Nomenclature ratified by the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses. Arch Virol 162:2505–2538CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 16.Kuhl JT, Huerter CJ, Hashish H (2003) A case of human orf contracted from a deer. Cutis 71:288–290Google Scholar
- 17.Kitchen M, Müller H, Zobl A, Windisch A, Romani N, Huemer HP (2014) Orf virus infection in a hunter presumably transmitted by game in Western Austria. Acta Dermatovenereol 94:212–214Google Scholar
- 18.Barker IK, Mehren KG, Rapley WA, Gangon AN (1980) Keratoconjunctivitis and oral/cutaneous lesion associated with poxvirus infection in reindeer. In: Montali RJ, Migaki G (eds) The comparative pathology of zoo animals. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington DC, pp 171–177Google Scholar
- 21.Junge RE, Duncan MC, Miller E, Gregg D, Kombert M (2003) Clinical presentation and antiviral therapy for poxvirus infection in pudu (Pudu puda). J Zoo Wildl Med 31:412–418Google Scholar
- 24.Bracht AJ, Armién AG, Carrillo C, O’Hearn ES, Fabian AW, Moran KE, Lu Z, Ariyakumer DS, Rasmussen JM, Metwally SA (2013) Isolation and characterization of a cervidpoxvirus from a goitered gazelle (Gazella sugutturosa) from a zoological park in Minnesota. J Zoo Wildl Med 44:589–595CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 29.VanDevanter DR, Warrener P, Bennett L, Schultz ER, Coulter S, Garber RL, Rose TM (1996) Detection and analysis of diverse herpesviral species by consensus primer PCR. J Clin Microbiol 34:1666–1671Google Scholar
- 32.Bankevich A, Nurk S, Antipov D, Gurevich AA, Dvorkin M, Kulikov AS, Lesin VM, Nikolenko SI, Pham S, Prjibelski AD, Pyshkin AV, Sirotkin AV, Vyahhi N, Tesler G, Alekseyev MA, Pevzner PA (2012) SPAdes: a new genome assembly algorithm and its applications to single-cell sequencing. J Comput Biol 19:455–477CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 37.Kearse M, Moir R, Wilson A, Stones-Havas S, Cheung M, Sturrock S, Buxton S, Cooper A, Markowitz S, Duran C, Thierer T, Ashton B, Meintjes P, Drummond A (2012) Geneious basic: an integrated and extendable desktop software platform for the organization and analysis of sequence data. Bioinformatics 28:1647–1649CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 41.Maclachlan NJ, Dubovi EJ, Barthold SW, Swayne DF, Winton JR (2017) Fenner’s veterinary virology, 5th edn. Elsevier Academic Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar